Coffee is an elixir. It wakes you up, soothes your soul, massages your taste buds, gives you a break in the day, revs you up, calms you down…all this and it’s legal.
Ask ten people to define a perfect cup of coffee and you’ll get ten different answers. But regardless how you love your coffee it’s fun to play with taste.
For the record, I like unflavored coffee with a touch of cream. Period. But I’m also not someone who is so stuck in a rut that an occasional experiment is out of the question (please don’t let that happen to you. It’s an unfortunate state-of-mind).
In personal experiences and spice sleuthing I’ve ran across four ways you can try your cup of joe. Easy. Wholesome. Delicious. And there are reported health benefits.
Before getting started know this: here at Spice Sherpa the emphasis is on real ingredients so there is no room for artificial, low-fat, sweeteners or additives. I’ve tried each of these and was pleasantly surprised. Instead of a dominating flavor each spice enhanced qualities of the coffee bean, almost as if the bean had these tastes embedded into it. Pretty cool.
Cup #1: Nutmeg
Brew your coffee, then sprinkle fresh grated nutmeg on top. According to The Spice Merchant’s Daughter: Recipes and Simple Spice Blends for the American Kitchen a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg will help treat indigestion and stomachaches. Is that why so many holiday dishes have nutmeg in them?
Cup #2: Cloves
Take 5 whole cloves and place them in your coffee filter. Brew as normal. This also works with a Senseo coffee maker which makes cups one at a time (it’s what I use after a lot of searching for the perfect machine). Use just 3 or 4 whole cloves and place on top of your filter (or inside if you wrap your own).
Coffee dominates cloves’ assertive flavor. The result is a delicate clove-infused aftertaste which lingers deliciously in your mouth after you swallow (The Spice Merchant’s Daughter says this helps treat body odor but that thought is a tad unsavory. Just thought you should know…).
Cup #3: Cardamom:
Arabs in the Middle East have been brewing cardamom in their coffee for centuries. It’s an expression of hospitality. Take a few cardamom pods and place them in your coffee filter. Or you can do it the Arabic way; mix water, grounds and cardamom pods together in a pot then strain and enjoy.
Cup #4: Cinnamon:
This one’s classic. Take a cinnamon quill, break it in half and put it in your coffee filter. Among a long list of benefits, cinnamon is high in antioxidants and is believed to help lower cholesterol.